On the other hand, the film does not entirely make its arguments black-and-white. The lines are blurred far more than say they are in the similar Just Cause (1995). In the prison, for instance, Alex Datchers recklessly liberal reformer and the sadistically hardline warden (James Brolin in a rare villainous role and having the time of his life) are both seen as being as bad as one another with the film sitting in the middle and taking neithers side. Similarly, the scenes surrounding the death sentencing of one of the inmates are portrayed in sympathetic terms that suggest that the victim may well have been sentenced innocently.
Unfortunately, the film gives the impression of starting with a script that wanted to at least raise some issues, if not exactly deal with them in a profoundly original or even that literate a way, before it was taken over and turned into an action movie. It is only in the latter quarter that the film breaks away from being a courtroom/prison drama to open out into the action film that it has been wanting to be all along. Up until that point, the insertion of gratuitous action scenes jars badly. Particularly obnoxious are a couple of sequences one where hero Jeff Speakman slaughters, rather than disarms, every single one of a group of armed hillbillies, and another where he beats up and smashes the car of a group of drunks who run him down in alley. The unquestioning righteousness of these acts, sanctified solely by the fact that the hero is conducting them, is repellent. In the end, whatever argument the script may have offered up to justify its case in having the hero, given no redress for his hurt in the face of a frustrating liberal justice system, take justice into his own hands, is reduced to the most mindless form of brutal vigilantism. Nor is it ever made clear who the titular expert is meant to be.
Rick Avery, better known as a stuntman, went onto make only one other action film with Deadly Outbreak (1996). Screenwriter Max Allan Collins went onto direct Mommy (1995) and Mommys Day (1996). For some reason, the IMDB insists that the film was written by low-budget director Larry Cohen, although Cohens name does not appear on the credits.
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